*The below message is taken from the weekly Cathedral Record newsletter. The full Cathedral Record is available to pick up from the Cathedral or can be downloaded here.*
Our Lady of Liverpool
I had the pleasure of meeting David John, sculptor and artist last week who was responsible for the bronze sculpture of Our Lady which is in the Crypt Chapel fixed on to the left hand apse wall. He is now 88 years old and had come along to see the figure in situ and to try and locate two smaller preliminary models/maquettes, one of the sculpture in question (which we have in the entrance to Cathedral House) and the other of Christ the King which was to be placed on the opposite side of the chapel, in the area where the Crypt organ is now located. The full size sculpture of Christ the King was never made and it was news to us here that there had been such a commission for a second bronze figure for the chapel. Our archive department was able to source some correspondence between David John and Cardinal Heenan in 1956/57 related to the sculpture and he was able to share memories of that time. One interesting detail was that the Diocese had to apply to Rome to ask permission if the image could be referred to as ‘Our Lady of Liverpool’ which was refused on the grounds that every town and city would want to create their own image of Our Lady – but they would allow us to use the title ‘Stella Maris’ – we obviously took a lot of notice of that ruling because I have only ever heard it referred by the forbidden title.
This weekend as the country remembers the battle of the Somme which began on 1st July 100 years ago we pray for those who fell during that conflict. The scale of the loss of life was shocking with about 20,000 British troops killed on the first day and almost 1.5 million troops from all sides over the 140 days of this particular battle of the trenches. We will hold a minutes silence at the end of the intercessions at all our Masses over the weekend as a mark of respect and remembrance for those who lost their lives during this particular World War I campaign.
Bishop Williams is due to celebrate a Mass for year seven children from a number of our Catholic Primary Schools this Tuesday at 10am but there is a threat of teachers going out on a one day strike that day so we are not sure if this will now go ahead.
On Wednesday the community of retired priests from the Mill Hill house in Freshfield will be making a pilgrimage to the Cathedral for the Holy Year and will join us for midday Mass in the Crypt Chapel and on Thursday and Friday groups of RE coordinators from our catholic schools will also visit the Cathedral to make a pilgrimage for the Y ear of Jubilee.
We will be marking the retirement of Mr John Waszek as Head of St Edward’s College at our celebration of Choral Evening Prayer next Sunday afternoon.
The ‘Salvage Hunter’ crew, that were here last week, managed to film all that they needed for an episode on the Cathedral and Crypt without causing any disturbance or fuss – would that all camera crews were as pleasant and respectful as they were. We also managed to negotiate the sale of a few unwanted items including paintings of two of the former rectors of Upholland Seminary which have been stored away here for years, unwanted and unloved and far too big to hang anywhere other than a large baronial hall. I hope these two deceased Monsignors don’t come back to haunt me for selling them on.
Canon Anthony O’Brien